Children's space at the Climate and Reclaim the Fields Camp 2013
A leftist camp and childcare? Has that ever worked? Sad but true: Leftist structures are not made for people with children, as soon as people lead a live with children it becomes harder to be a part of leftist structures. (This might be parents, but not solely, that is why we will refer to “affinity person(s)” within this text as there is a strong relationship with the child.) For children themselves mostly it is pretty boring, because the grown-ups just talk the whole day, they are considered to be to young for actions and if, once, there is some practical activity, they are just in the way.
We want to change that! Because we believe that we can only change the world if we manage to build structures of transformation that are serving our needs. Why are we against climate change again? Also because we want to save the opportunity of a good life for coming generations. Why, then, exclude those?
Opening up a space for children in leftist structures thus, for us, is a political activity. And on top of that one that can make lots of fun and pose an opportunity to learn from children e.g. how they deal with language barriers.
What we imagine:
The best is when there are lots of children, then there are enough people to play with, and it never gets boring. (quoted from personal experiences)
We want to create a basis on which children, their affinity persons and people who want to do something with children, can meet. For this purpose we will have our own tent. Every morning we want to meet at his tent, start the day with a shared song or game and collect ideas on what we want to do this day. Concerning this it is important for us to take the different needs of all into account in order to be able to act according to them.
We want to see how small and big people can take part in the regular camp program as they see fit. We thus in no way intend to build up a parallel-structure to which the children can be handed over to so that the affinity persons finally can take part in the serious everyday political activities. All affinity persons and children should take part in all of the camp program as they please!
But we also want to create our own program where small and big people can contribute their ideas. In doing so it is important to us that this is based on voluntariness and doesn't become some kind of school program, which does not mean, that we can't arrange to meet at specific times.
The camping ground is located directly beside a small forest and a sports ground, ideal places where spontaneous games can happen.
Please bring games and books, also in other languages, for the case of bad weather. Also bring material for things you want to do!
There will also be a seperate cooking space so that is possible to prepare food apart from the peoples kitchen.
Ideas we've had so far on what we could be doing:
Sneak up games in the forest
Visits to the Hambacher Forst and maybe the open cast mine
Clasify plants, collect wild plants.
Lying on the back and watch the clouds
We are currently trying to organize sleeping spaces apart from the camping grounds, for children, their affinity persons, and other people who do no want t, or can't, sleep outside for the whole duration of the camp.
There will also be a space on the camping grounds that is reserved for people who want to go to bed early or feel irritated through noises in the night. This area will also be located as far from the Workshop- and Assemblytents, so that nobody feels disturbed through events happening here.
Our Personal Boundaries:
Also if some of us see education as a power relationship this does not mean that we do not also have personal boundaries. As at the camp in general, as well as all social interactions, we have to make our own rules and communicate our personal boundaries clearly, so that all feel safe and comfortable.
We want for affinity persons the be able to participate in the workshopprogram, but this can only work when the children feel comfortable with staying with strangers and the present support persons feel up to it. In order to facilitate this it is of course important to be informed about things like illnesses, panic actions in specific situations or medical needs, before hand. We are not an official institution! If something should happen we can not claim any liability! The children are entrusted to us on your own authority! Of course we still want to be of help and handle the trust put in us in a responsible manner.
On top of that we, of course, also want to take part in workshops. Which means we have to make arrangements according to all needs.
Also during the action days the children program is supposed to continue. The people organizing the camp have agreed upon, that they feel most comforable if affinity persons just take part in actions if there is another affinity person stays at the camp.
Why?: It is always possible that people are taken into custody during actions and if children are separated from their affinity persons for a longer period this can be a traumatic experience. That is why we want to prevent these situations from occurring.
What can you do?
Come to the camp with children, bring ideas and materila for activities you'd like to bring!
In any case it would be great if you get in touch with us beforehand. We would like to know with how many children you plan to come, how old they are and if you want to involve yourself in a self-organized children's program. That helps us in order to see how much capacities we have/need.
But you can always contact us spontaneously at the camp!
Who is this We?
We are a few people who got together to create the frame for a childrensspace. This we is open for all people who would like to participate in this process!
Contact: waa-luka [at] riseup [dot] net (waa-luka[at]riseup.net) Program ideas to: eule [at] systemausfall [dot] org (eule[at]systemausfall.org)